Published January 10, 2023
It’s strange to look out my window and see green grass in January. Yet that is what I will observe for the next few months as I sojourn in sunny — and politically crucial — Arizona.
I’m here because I am teaching a course this semester in the politics of American statesmanship at Arizona State University’s School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership. This opportunity allows me to refine the thought I’ve given over the years to what some of the greatest American presidents — Lincoln, FDR and Reagan — did both to obtain power and to build coalitions that long outlasted their tenures. But it also gives me the chance to look closely at the goings-on in what is arguably the most politically fascinating state in the country.
Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.